Sunday, April 6, 2014

Raising the Roof

A week or so ago we bought a porch.  A neighbor had had it built for his rig but, when he sold the lot, it wouldn't fit the in-coming RV.  It's small but handy: two sets of steps (front and back), handrails, a narrow floor outside the door (to stand on while searching for our house key!), and a roof!  Finally we can get from truck to door without getting drenched in the rain.

One of the park owners -- a handyman with tools and equipment --  moved our new porch from its previous home to our site on the front-end loader of a tractor.  It looked rather odd, but it worked.  Several other neighbors drifted in to be part of the project.  One was a master carpenter, several were good "followers of orders" and all had strong backs and willing hands.

As they muscled the porch up to the side of our fifth-wheel, we realized we had some problems.  The length and width were good but the roof was so low it kept our door from opening. Whoops!  And when the door was opened, one of the roof supports kept it from opening fully.  Double whoops!

I was inside the trailer putting away the clean breakfast dishes when I heard ominous sounds: SSccrraappee, UUgghh, SScchhrreeeech "Just a little more." The helpers were pulling our porch away from our door again, trapping me inside the trailer!  All I could do was watch out the window and listen.

It was a fascinating conversation.  Bruce and several helpers spoke English.  The master carpenter mostly spoke English but often had to translate for his French-speaking helper.  There seemed to be some difference of opinion because there was plenty of hand-waving and shaking of heads in both languages.

Finally I began to hear more hopeful sounds:  BLAM, BLAM as the original upright supports were removed.  New and higher roof supports were added, BANG, BANG, in positions that did not interfere with the door.  But the roof was still too low.

For a few moments it was quiet as I heard many voices sharing ideas and solutions.  And then, again, there were sounds of hammers ripping out nails --SSqquueeaakk, WWrreenncchh.  What in the world are they doing, I thought, tearing up instead of fixing up?

Then the air was again filled with grunts and groans as our husky helpers shoved and pushed the remodeled porch back into its proper place.  Voila! The door could now open, close, and, when open, lie flat  against the trailer wall. 

Our friends and neighbors had successfully raised the roof!